Place the black beans in a pile in the corner of a shallow bowl. Heat a small skillet over medium-high. Add the oil to the pan; swirl to coat. Add the tomatoes; cook until charred but not collapsing, about 3 minutes, shaking the pan once to turn the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes next to the beans in the bowl.
Add the corn to the pan; cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Place the corn next to the tomatoes. Add the avocado slices, radish slices, and cilantro to the bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
Many Americans struggle with poor cholesterol readings. This may entail elevated LDL or “bad” cholesterol or low HDL or “good” cholesterol. If your cholesterol numbers are less than perfect, consider some of these tips to improve your heart health:
Do more cardiovascular exercise. This can increase HDL levels.
Eat a Mediterranean diet, focusing on lots of plant foods like beans, fruits, and vegetables.
Increase your intake of healthy fats, mainly from plant foods and fish. Fish contains omega 3 fatty acids. Some great choices are salmon, herring, trout, and tuna. These contain high levels of omega 3’s.
Add walnuts and chia seeds to your diet for plant based omega 3’s.
Manage your daily stress with activities like meditation and yoga.
Increase your soluble fiber intake to decrease LDL cholesterol. Soluble fiber binds to cholesterol, helping to sweep it away. Oatmeal and beans are two foods high in soluble fiber.
Don’t forget to see your doctor for yearly preventative blood work. Work with your doctor regarding supplement choices and medication.
As children, we have all been lectured about eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Perhaps your parents would not let you leave the dinner table until you finished all of your vegetables or your teacher taught you to “eat the rainbow”. However, why is consuming various colors of fruits and vegetables so beneficial? On top of the many vitamins and minerals fruits and vegetables contain, they also are rich in phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are not essential nutrients; however, they have been show to ward off diseases such as cancer. Different colors of fruits and vegetables can be indicative of the types of phytochemicals they contain. Therefore, eating an array of fruits and vegetables will ensure consumption of different types of phytochemicals with diverse benefits. Here is a list of different phytochemicals and the fruits and vegetables they are in:
Lycopene is part of the carotenoid family and is found in red-colored fruits and vegetables. Evidence from scientific studies suggests that lycopene helps prevent lung, prostate, and stomach cancers. Like other carotenoids, lycopene is an antioxidant, meaning it can remove harmful free radicals from the body.
Here are some foods containing lycopene:
Orange, Yellow, and Deep Green: Carotenoids
Carotenoids are a type of phytochemical most commonly found in orange and yellow fruits and dark green vegetables. They have antioxidant properties, and the body can convert carotenoids into vitamin A, which aids in immune function and eye health. Here are some foods containing carotenoids:
Diverse Colors: Flavonoids
Like carotenoids, flavonoids are also antioxidants, and have been associated with lowered risk of breast and lung cancer. They are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which benefits cardiovascular health.
Choosing foods wisely is essential for getting the most efficient workout. Consuming improper foods prior to exercising could prevent you from maximizing your workout, while failure to select appropriate foods after a workout could impair your recovery.
Before a workout, it is important to avoid eating too much and to choose carbohydrate-rich foods. The human body converts carbohydrates into energy most readily, which will be beneficial in energy-expending exercise. Here are some suggestions from the American Heart Association of foods to fuel your body for a successful workout:
Whole grain toast
Whole grain pasta
Whole grain cereals
Contrary to popular belief, proteins are not recommended for consumption before a workout because they take longer to digest; consuming saturated fats prior to exercise is not advised for the same reason. It is also important to keep your body well hydrated by drinking water.
Once a workout is completed, it is vital to replenish your body through hydration and nutrient intake. Because the body uses carbohydrates as its main energy source, it is important to consume carbohydrates after your workout—they are necessary in the metabolic processes of your body. In addition, protein should be consumed. Protein helps to repair and grow muscles. Here are some suggestions of snacks and meals to eat after a workout:
In order to lose weight, we must consume less calories, burn more calories with exercise or do a little of both. Many people believe they need to go on a strict diet in order to lose weight but that is not the case. Small, consistent changes can make a huge difference on the scale. Try cutting back on some of these high calorie foods if you’d like to lose weight:
Peanut Butter (not more than 2 tablespoons)
Cheese (not more than 1 oz.)
Dried fruit (not more than ¼ cup)
Simply cutting out 1 tablespoon of fat can cut 100 calories daily, leading to weight loss overtime. Focus on a sustainable healthy lifestyle rather than a diet. It will pay off in the long run!
Grocery shopping can be a little confusing these days with so many options to choose from. Here are some guidelines to help you make healthier choices.
Try choosing less processed foods as often as possible. Examples include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and simple dairy products. Label reading should include looking at the ingredients, sugar, sodium, fiber and fat. Here are some guidelines to aim for when shopping for starches and grains:
Less than or equal to 10 grams of sugar
Greater than or equal to 3 grams of fiber
Less than or equal to 250mg of sodium
No trans fats and minimal saturated fats
Choose foods with fewer ingredients in them to avoid processed foods. Check the ingredients for words like “hydrogenated oil” and “partially hydrogenated oil”. These are terms to describe trans fats, which are particularly unhealthy for the heart. Load up on fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. These foods are very nutrient dense while still being low in calories.
Certain grocery stores provide lists of all foods sold that are kosher. Product lists are often accessible online:
Another option for label reading includes looking for reliable kosher certifications (such as “Seal-K”) to make kosher selections. Another option is to choose grocery stores that exclusively sell kosher products.
Are you getting sick of drinking nothing but water all the time? Unfortunately, many bottled drinks are either packed with sugar or artificial sweeteners. It makes it challenging drinking anything but water these days. Here are some other ideas:
Unsweetened seltzer water
Fruit infused water (oranges, strawberries, etc)
Unsweetened black or green iced tea
Unsweetened herbal teas
Mint infused water
I love simply throwing some herbal tea bags into my cold water bottle. Allow to sit at least 5 minutes. Shake it up and you’ve got a tasty drink and you have tons of flavors to choose from! Its also a lot less expensive then constantly buying pre-made tea!